August 21, 2015
Outer Banks Angling:
Fishing is solid as summer winds down
By ROB ALDERMAN
Summer continues to race by with the end of August already approaching and children preparing for yet another school year.
The forecast of late has hopefully been a prelude of weather to come.
Mother Nature threw us several very nice days, with much welcomed cool
temps and low humidity.
It's been common to hear people say they were ready for fall. As a
fisherman, I know I am ready for the fall run of fish to begin.
This time of year also generally leads to the reopening of many seasonally closed beaches.
I know that some of the favorite spots, such as Ramp 72 on Ocracoke,
have reopened and pedestrian access has been restored to Cape Point.
I know that in the past that many ramps have remained closed or had
limited access because of turtle nests that are about to hatch. We can
hope that will not be the case this season, but only time will tell.
But while I am on that subject, I visited Portsmouth Island the other
day. I took my family to visit the island and the ghost town. The great
folks at Portsmouth Island ATV Excursions sure knew their history and
their way around.
During our cruise down the beach, we had to make a detour around a
giant area in which the Cape Lookout National Seashore biologists
relocated turtle nests that might not otherwise survive in the original
location. I thought to myself how great that would be if the
powers-that-be would allow the same for the Hatteras and Ocracoke
The survival rate of a lot of the turtle nests would greatly increase,
and there would be a positive response from locals and visitors
alike. It would be an excellent way to begin to improve relations
between the park and the public.
It’s amazing how it’s common practice in one national park that sees
very few human visitors in comparison to the national park that hosts
thousands of people daily.
Maybe one day.
Offshore fishing has continued to remain solid for the charter fleets,
and I continue to recommend that you book a trip if you have the time
Solid catches of mahi-mahi continue to fill boxes, along with good catches of blackfin tuna.
Decent bites of wahoo and billfish also continue to excite anglers. As
I’ve stated in the past, August can be a solid month for offshore
fishing, especially for white marlin.
The inshore boats around Hatteras and Ocracoke have been doing well
with Spanish Mackerel, bluefish, puppy drum, and the occasional big
drum. At this time of year I would expect that the reports of puppy
drum and citation-size drum will only increase -- not to say there has
been anything wrong with the puppy drum bite around the inlets for the
southern boys. They have had a good year of catching them.
Out of Oregon Inlet, the inshore boats have caught bluefish, Spanish, the occasional puppy drum, and plenty of ribbonfish.
They are a little funny looking and may not be something you hear about
being this awesome catch, but they have provided a great deal of action
for anglers and they actually are quite good to eat. They are used in
sushi, fish tacos, and much more.
The reports from Rodanthe and Avon piers reports have basically mirrored those from the surf.
Plenty of small bottom fish have been caught. Small spot and croaker
are always a crowd pleaser for those just looking for a bite. But a
fair amount of nice sea mullet have been caught off and on, along with
some decent pompano.
Bluefish and Spanish continue to make the reports and will continue to
do so for some time, while the water remains warm. Sheepshead and
flounder make it randomly into the reports, but the best flounder
reports I continuously see are from those gigging around Hatteras and
Gigging is not that overwhelmingly hard, but does require some special
gear and understanding of what you are doing. So stop by a local tackle
shop and let them set you up with what you need and let them explain
the basics. This will help to better ensure your chances of success.
Extended forecasts are semi-typical, in the sense there seems to be a
chance of rain almost daily, but the temps look good overall -- highs
in the upper 80s and lows close to 70 degrees. If these patterns
hold, fall fishing will be here real soon.
In the past, seeing yearling drum and the occasional citation drum from
Cape Point around Labor Day weekend has not been a surprise. The temps
could help with that.
And now that the Point is open to foot traffic, I would imagine that
it’ll open to vehicle traffic in the coming week or two. I hope. 2014
yielded phenomenal drum fishing and I know a lot of people are hoping
for a repeat this fall.
So, the fishing is good and the weather is great. You can’t catch
fish sitting at home and a bad day of fishing is always better than
anything else you could be doing.
Grab your family or friends and make a run to the islands.
Go fishing and play hard.
Alderman has lived on the Outer Banks for more than 13 years and has
worked in the recreational fishing industry the entire time. A former
variety fishing TV show host, beach fishing guide, tackle shop and pier
employee, Rob currently owns and operates Outer Banks Kayak Fishing. He
is on the Pro-Staff of Bending Branches LLC, Wilderness Systems Kayaks,
Release Reels, Yakattack and is an ambassador for Ugly Stik. You can
follow his adventures at www.FishMilitia.com or